Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve, the wood duck curse continues
On Saturday, September 14th, I went to the Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve again, hoping to find a few migrating birds, and to also play around photographing mushrooms. I was able to shoot quite a few birds, including a Philadelphia vireo, but the thing that sticks out most to me is that I can not get a good photo of a wood duck.
In the first small pond that I came to just after crossing the boardwalk, I spotted this male wood duck in fall plumage, and in what I thought was great light.
So I shot away, thinking that I was finally getting good photos, but every one of the images was slightly out of focus. I couldn’t believe that the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) would let me down like that. I swear, when it comes to wood ducks, there’s a curse on me! 😉 That becomes even more apparent since right across the trail from where I had shot the wood duck, this Philadelphia vireo was in a thicket on the bank of the pond, and in poor light.
There were even more birds in that small area, but it was about then that one of many herds of humans I had to deal with this day went tramping past me, scattering the birds. I later learned that the great herds of humans had kicked over almost all of the larger mushrooms that I had come to shoot.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, if I were to ever win the lottery, I’d purchase a large tract of land and limit access to only serious nature photographers. No children would be allowed there unless they were leashed and gagged. Later in the day, as I was trying for a warbler, I had some brat start yelling at the top of his lungs while he was less than three feet behind me, and his dad was only twenty feet in front of him. Needless to say, that scattered all the birds there.
I’m all for getting kids out into nature, but they should be taught to respect nature, or at least other people who go to a nature preserve to view nature.
In all fairness, by the time the brat started screaming right behind me, I was in a bit of a foul mood anyway. I had some equipment problems, totally my fault since I didn’t check the battery status of either my LED panel light or the EX 320 flash unit. The LED light was completely dead, and the EX 320 batteries were close to it.
I’m loving the EX 320 speedlite, but Canon could add a few features to it and the nifty case that it comes in to make it even better. A battery charge indicator would be really nice so that I’d know when to carry extra batteries. The case would be even better if it had a belt loop on the back of it so that I didn’t have to carry it in a pocket or camera bag, but could slip it on my belt. It would have also been nice if they had added space for a spare set of batteries. But, I suppose that you can’t have everything. 😉
Anyway, with that stuff out of the way, here’s a few of the images that aren’t of birds that I shot. I just liked the deep greens in this first one.
I found a few coral fungi that hadn’t been destroyed, here’s my best image of it.
I believe that this next one is the seed head of a buttonbush.
Why is it that the insects willing to pose for extreme close-ups when I use the Tokina macro lens are flies?
Especially when there are these guys around.
I found this interesting.
I was able to get a few birds between herds of humans stampeding through the park.
I didn’t say that they were great photos, only that I shot a few. 😉
There was enough of a charge left in the batteries in the EX 320 to give this chipmunk red-eye.
I wonder why? That’s the first time that I’ve been able to tell that I’ve used the flash on a critter with the EX 320. Maybe it was because the chipmunk was in very deep shade and its pupils were dilated so that it could see in the low light?
The batteries also held up for these images.
I didn’t need the flash for these.
The heron was grabbing frogs with regularity, but it was really too far away for good photos of the “kill”, and besides, I have more and better photos of herons for later posts. However, I am going to add a few images of the heron as it moved to another area to hunt frogs.
That photo makes me wonder where the herons hide the muscles to flap those giant wings when they have such a scrawny body? They are graceful in flight though.
Fall is coming, whether we like it or not, I’m one who does.
A few more bird photos from Pickerel Lake.
Remember, I didn’t say that they were good photos. 😉
The good bird photos came from Huff Park, where I stopped on my way home to attempt to find the olive-sided flycatcher that’s been reported there frequently this fall. I didn’t find it, but, there were plenty of other birds to be seen.
By the way, the images of the chickadee weren’t cropped at all.
Sorry for so many of the hawk, but it was fun watching it watching the other birds flying all around it.
There were other critters to photograph besides birds.
I used the flash on the second photo, no trace of red-eye. So far, the first chipmunk is the only critter that I’ve used the flash on and had it show that I used the flash.
At one point, I bumped into another birder/photographer, and we spent some time taking about both birds and camera gear. At the same time, a flock of mixed species of birds came through the area where we were standing.
I missed three times as many species as I got, but Clinton, the other birder, and I just happened to be discussing the Canon 7D camera, and I can’t talk cameras and shoot one at the same time. He has been saving for one, then he heard that the Mark II may be released soon, so he didn’t want to make the purchase then. He’s in luck, they are taking orders for the Mark II, and Bob Zeller has already ordered one. Bob does the Texas Tweeties blog, and it will be interesting to read how he likes the 7D Mark II when it arrives.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!